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Angola: UNHCR plans repatriation of Congolese

Briefing notes

Angola: UNHCR plans repatriation of Congolese

26 May 2000

UNHCR is planning to begin the repatriation next month of at least 1,850 Congolese refugees in Angola, some of whom have been in exile for 23 years. In all, there are estimated 11,000 Congolese refugees still living in Angola. Of those, 1,850 have so far applied for return to the DRC. Most of these refugees are assisted in the Viana camp in the area of Luanda. They originate either from the area of Lubumbashi in Katanga or the area of Kananga in Kasai. Some of the refugees have told UNHCR staff that they were still uncertain about their return and that they had lost most contacts after 23 years in exile. Still, they said they would go home if UNHCR would help them.

Because most locations of return are in government-held and peaceful areas, UNHCR will assist the refugees with transport to their town of origin. We are currently looking at the possibility of airlifting returnees to main destinations in DRC. The repatriation exercise is expected to start in mid-June.